U of T grad students win major national funding awards

    TORONTO, May 1 /CNW/ - World-class graduate research at the University of
Toronto received a major boost today as the federal government announced
almost three dozen top-tier students will receive funding through their new
Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships.
    The prestigious scholarships - valued at $50,000 each per year for up to
three years - are being lauded as Canada's answer to the Rhodes scholarships.
They are awarded to leading Canadian and international students in the social
sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, and health fields.
    In this inaugural year, U of T students won 34 of the 166 scholarships,
doubling the amount received by any other Canadian university. Of the 34
recipients, eight were international students.
    "The new Vanier scholarship program highlights the federal government's
commitment to recruiting and retaining top-flight graduate students," says
President David Naylor. "The fact that so many of these prestigious awards
went to U of T students underscores our unparalleled strength in graduate
research and education."
    University of Toronto scholarship recipients - who passed through a
rigorous and highly competitive selection process - represent a range of
academic disciplines, from medical biophysics and medieval studies to
astronomy and anthropology.
    "The Vanier awards represent an innovative approach to graduate
scholarships in Canada, and we are delighted that our U of T doctoral students
are so well-represented among recipients. We are especially pleased that our
students from international backgrounds were considered, as well as Canadian
students," says Susan Pfeiffer, dean of graduate studies and vice-provost of
graduate education. "This generous federal funding ensures our high-calibre
students can continue doing the groundbreaking scholarly work that ensures
Canada's role as a strong contributor to new knowledge, globally."
    The goal of the scholarships is to strengthen Canada's position as a
global leader in higher education research by drawing top doctoral students
from around the world. Funding is administered through Canada's federal
granting agencies: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR); Natural
Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC); and Social Sciences and
Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
    "This scholarship provides an exceptional opportunity for me to research
and develop innovative, nanotechnology-based therapies for breast cancer under
the mentorship of internationally renowned leaders in pharmaceutical sciences
and radiation medicine," says scholarship recipient Niladri Chattopadhyay, a
second-year doctoral student in pharmaceutical sciences who recently came to U
of T from Mumbai, India.

For further information:

For further information: U of T Media Relations, (416) 978-0100,
media.relations@utoronto.ca; Krista Steeves, Assistant Director, Student
Services, School of Graduate Studies, (416) 978-8576

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